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Sudden Stabbing Pain, Back Right Side of Head
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Sudden Stabbing Pain, Back Right Side of Head

I'm hoping someone can explain what this pain might be.  

I get sudden, acute, and severe stabbing pain in the lower right side of the back of my head. It happens when I move my head, but it does not happen every time I move my head and I have been unable to make the pain happen (meaning no matter what way I turn my head, I can't trigger it. Its just random.).  When it does strike, it will happen whether I am turning my head left or right, however the pain is always only on the right side. It is intense enough to buckle my knees (I have a bunch of piercings and five tattoos- pain usually isn't a problem for me). The pain location is very specific and always the same; its about two finger spaces above where the head and neck meet on the right back side of my head. The pain lasts about 15-20 seconds at full intensity and I'll have to brace myself on a wall or what ever is nearby for me to grab, and then it dissipates, although lately it seems like it has begun to last a little longer each time. It doesn't radiate anywhere else it just stays in that specific location (which initially made me dismiss it as muscle spasms or something similarly benign), there are no other symptoms that occur with it or right before or after it. No concurrent nausea, dizziness, vision problems, or anything of the kind.  This has been happening more and more frequently and obviously its worrisome because I've never experienced this before and I can't find a logical cause for it myself.
I don't know if this is relevant, but I do have a history of vestibular neuronitis that resulted in a week long hospitalization and steroid treatment. However that was in the left ear and this pain is all on the right side just above my neck. But given my less than even basic knowledge of human anatomy, I thought I'd mention it just in case they could be related. Also, its probably relevant that in the course of that diagnosis and treatment I had 3 MRIs done of my head and neck that were normal and that was in October 2012, so its fairly recent.  But this pain did not start occurring until January of this year. Additionally, I have a history of PVCs (I'm a 25 y/o female but have about 9800/day according to halter monitor results) and I have a PAVM. Again - I have no idea if its relevant but I want to give as much information as possible so that I get the best possible diagnosis.
Any tips or information would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
7 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? It is good that the imaging studies showed normal findings. The symptoms could be due to primary stabbing headaches or  ice pick headaches which usually present with short, stabbing, extremely intense headaches that can  last between five and 30 seconds. The cause is not known though it has been associated with migraine. If it recurs, it is best that you have this checked by your doctor for proper evaluation. Prescription medications such as indomethacin may help. Take care and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been suffering from complicated migraines for 35+ years now. All the Dr.s wanted to give drugs. Im not a fan of drugs but took some, then others and again others. Nothing helped. Over years the headache has changed with sharp extremely painful stabbing pain, chronic migraines lasting 8+ months, loss of focus, 39 TIA's (mini strokes), and much more. Finally found a neurologist willing to look at the cause for my debilitating way of life. A genetic test revealed I have Familial Hemiplegic Migraines and CADASIL Syndrome. The test is costly and may be worth looking into. Best of luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your answer!  My doctor said its a "student headache" but it's really bothersome and has started waking me up at night too. I'm definitely gonna look into it a little more.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your answer! I'm sorry to head you've had such a rough time :( ill definitely look into seeing a neurologist about this!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey, im 13 years old i have been having exactly the same problem as you! Today i started laughing with my friends and turned my head and had a excruciating stabbing pain in my lower right side of my head! I suddenly grabbed onto my friends arm really hard as it really hurt! After about 15secs, the area goes really numb and tingly! Its been happening for about 2 years and dont know how to ask for help! If you could get back to me when you have got help, i would love it!! Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
hi! I haven't gone to the doctor for it but its still happening every now and then so i might soon.  if i do i will let you kno! but if its happening to you definitely get it checked out! the explanation i get might not be the same you would get ya kno? better to be safe!
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Avatar_m_tn
This started happening to me when I was about 7 years old. I'm now 28 and that sharp stinging intense pain on the right hand side of the back of my head occur still.
Also happened a few times at school, sometimes it got so bad that without even thinking about it, started crying, so painful it was, as sometimes still is. It happens a few times a year. I still have no answer to this pain...
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